The 'Tink Walks Amok' Story

Arthur "Tink" Barrow presented bass for Zappa from 1978 - 1980, and was Zappa's "Clonemeister" (he ran the rehearsals in Frank's absense) from immedieately after the '78-'79 tour through the '81-'82 tour.His early years nickname, Tink, given the title for the track Tink Walks Amok on The Man From Utopia.



T'Mershi Duween, #27-28, October-November 1992
Let me ask you about Tink, and also the story of the construction of 'Tink Walks Amok'.
Arthur Barrow : Tink was my nickname from childhood. My mom says my father gave it to me, but I don't honestly know. The way Frank found out about Tink was because I grew up in the same town as Christopher Cross (Chris Gephert to give him his real name) and this is how the whole 'Teenage Wind' thing came about. I had gone to school with this guy, and after I started playing with Zappa, I heard that he'd secured a record deal with Warner Bros. I heard his song on the radio one day whilst I was driving to a Zappa rehearsal. It was 'Ride Like the Wind'; I recognised the voice immediately. I went up to Frank when I got to rehearsal and I said 'I can't believe it! This guy I went to high school with has got a song on the radio.' And I started playing it on the piano and singing as much of it as I could remember. Frank says 'Aw, gimme a pencil and paper and I could write a song like that in five minutes' and he whipped out the lyrics to 'Teenage Wind'. Which was pretty funny. And then the story continues.
A friend of mine named Phil was Chris Cross' drummer in a band called Flash when we were all in high school in San Antonio. Phil had kept in with him a little bit and I had told Phil that Frank had written a song making fun of Chris' song. Phil told Chris that Zappa had written a take-off on his song and Chris' response was 'Oh god, I hope he doesn't release while I'm peaking.' Another irony was that Chris had a song called 'Arthur', another twist of fate. I told that story to Frank and he said 'Oh my god, I've been in the biznis for fifteen minutes and I'm peaking'. That's when Frank started doing the 'I'm peaking, I'm peaking' routine. I think the LA show in 1980 was when Frank first did that. And the story goes on.
Tink Walks Amok. Frank was in New York, and a chance meeting occurred in this restaurant between Frank and Chris. Frank, in his generous way, sent over half a bottle of wine, then Chris came over and talked a little and hung out. It was at this time that Chris informed Frank that my childhood nickname was Tink. Frank liked that, so it was OK, he named a song after me. It was originally a piece called 'Thirteen'. There were some really neat rehearsal tapes of it. The band versions of it were much cooler than the album track. It's kinda funny the way it turned out on the album. We did it by starting to a click track, then I put down a basic bass track. Then I overdubbed bunches of other tracks, micro bass and some other stuff. We were sitting in the studio with the tape rolling. Frank would say 'OK, move the whole pattern up to the D-string, get ready, NOW!' All while the tape was rolling. That's the way it is on the record. That was pretty funny. But I understand 'Man From Utopia' is one of the fans' all-time least favourite Zappa albums.

The 'Tink Walks Amok' Story The  'Tink Walks Amok' Story Reviewed by Klemen Hlupič on 11:18 Rating: 5

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